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Ziegler ready to get dialed in as season opens

SYDNEY -- D-backs reliever Brad Ziegler's ERA this spring has been an unsightly 13.50.

Spring Training numbers, however, do not mean much, and they especially don't cause any concern when the veteran in question had a 2.22 ERA last year, 2.49 the year before and 1.74 for the D-backs the year before that.

In other words, Ziegler has a track record, and a very good one.

"It's funny to me how much stuff I've seen written about it," Ziegler said of his poor spring. "For me, I'm working on certain things. I'm not pitching hitters how I would pitch them during the season. Especially when we play a division team, because I pitch against them enough as it is and in a game where the win or loss doesn't mean anything I don't want to let them kind of lock in on what I plan to do against them later."

Ziegler has been throwing his slider and changeup more than he usually does in order to get a feel for them, and he's backed off on his sinker, which he'll rely on more when the season begins.

Just before the team left for Australia, Ziegler pitched in a Minor League game and all 11 pitches he threw were sinkers. He relied on his sinker again during a simulated game in Australia on Thursday.

"I feel good," Ziegler said. "I'm ready for Saturday."

The D-backs open the 2014 season against the Dodgers at 1 a.m. MST on Saturday at Sydney Cricket Ground.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.
Read More: Arizona Diamondbacks, Brad Ziegler